Foo.__new__ is what species of method?

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Tue Jul 14 06:54:07 CEST 2015

On Tuesday 14 July 2015 14:45, Ben Finney wrote:

> Howdy all,
> The Python reference says of a class ‘__new__’ method::
>     object.__new__(cls[, ...])
>     Called to create a new instance of class cls. __new__() is a static
>     method (special-cased so you need not declare it as such) that takes
>     the class of which an instance was requested as its first argument.

This is correct. __new__ is a static method and you need to explicitly 
provide the cls argument:

py> class Spam(object):
...     def __new__(cls):
...             print cls
py> Spam.__new__()  # implicit first arg?
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: __new__() takes exactly 1 argument (0 given)

py> Spam.__new__(Spam)
<class '__main__.Spam'>


py> type(Spam.__dict__['__new__'])
<type 'staticmethod'>

> I suspect this a bug in the reference documentation for ‘__new__’, and
> it should instead say “__new__ is a class method …”. Am I wrong?

I've made that mistake in the past too :-)


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